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non-bento#7 Doraemon onigiri March 3, 2009

Posted by AnnaTheRed in bento blog (all), bento blog - anime, bento blog - non bento.
Tags: , , , , ,

Last night, I made “salmon dish for super lazy people” to clean out my fridge (this is another amazingly simple and easy recipe. I’ll post it someday), so we had enough food for bento. So I decided to make onigiri (rice ball) for breakfast for both of us. But just making plain onigiri would be boring,,, so I decided to make one of his favorite anime characters since he was little.

Non-bento #5: Doraemon onigiri (rice ball)
Created and eaten on: 3/3/2009

Almost everyone in Japan will recognize Doraemon. The manga series ran from 1969-1996, and the anime series was on from 1979-2005. (a new series of Doraemon with different voice casts started after that, but I consider the new Doraemon different from the original Doraemon)

“Doraemon is sent back in time by Nobita Nobi’s great-great grandson Sewashi to improve Nobita’s circumstances so that his descendants may enjoy a better future.” (from Wikipedia) Doraemon is a robotic cat, but his ears were eaten by mouse, making him scared of mice. That’s why he has no ears. He has a big pocket on his stomach and he has endless gadgets from the future, which EVERY KID (and even adult) dreams of having.

My boyfriend told me that his dad used to read Chinese language Doraemon manga to him in English, and he was a big fan of Doraemon. He even drew Doraemon in his journal when he was little which I thought it was so cute.

I’ve seen Doraemon onigiri on the internet before. It seemed easy enough, so I started making three smallish rice balls. I put cod roe inside each onigiri, and made them really round instead of triangular like traditional onigiri. Doraemon’s face has a white part surrounded by a blue part. This part was not as easy as it seemed…

Seems like he knows what's going to happen to him.

To make this blue part with seaweed, I wrapped the rice ball with plastic sheet first, and placed it on a square seaweed sheet bigger than the rice ball. Then I carefully cut out a round shape freehand (which would be the white part) from the seaweed. This was very tricky and inefficient because I had to keep guessing how big and where the white part would be as I cut it out.

Now, if I weren’t lazy, I could’ve cut the white part following the outline of the rice ball on a sheet of paper, and used the paper as a guide to cut the seaweed.

My laziness shows...

After I cut seaweed, I made sure the rice ball is warm (the rice MUST BE warm. If it’s not warm, microwave it), and placed the cut out part of the seaweed flat on the rice ball. Then I put plastic sheet over the seaweed, gently pressed it down so that the cutout part would stick to the rice. And I slooooowly wrapped the rice ball with the seaweed using plastic sheet from the center out to the other side of the rice ball. (You have to do it slooooooowly otherwise the seaweed will rip.)

Seaweed is flat and rice balls are round, so seaweed will get sharp points when you’re trying to wrap it, but that’s normal. When I finished wrapping the entire rice ball with plastic sheet, I simply pushed the pointy parts in, and rolled the rice ball (wrapped in plastic sheet) around on the counter. It’s not exactly the same, but it’s the similar to “how to make makkurokurosuke.”

I then cut out eyes from sliced kamaboko (fish cake) using a small cookie cutter. Then I thinly sliced carrot and cut out noses using a straw. I used a hole punch on seaweed for pupils, and cut bunch of strips. I wanted to make the facial expressions of the three Doraemon all different, so I cut fake sausage for the smiling one.
After all the face parts were ready, I unwrapped the plastic sheet and put faces on each Doraemon.

Looking at the pictures, I realized that I probably should’ve used ham instead of fake sausage. I didn’t cut it thin enough, so it looked out of place.

Hi my name is Doraemon! My mouth is detached from my face!

And since I didn’t do much to hide the bottom (where the neck should be) part, the pictures from low angles look pretty bad too. 😛 (Maybe I could’ve placed them on the plate like they had been beheaded?)

This has nothing to do with rice balls but apparently, Doramon is pretty popular throughout the world except in North America. I did research about this, and found an explanation in Wikipedia.

“…(Viz communications) had plans to publish the manga in English in the early 1990s, but due to the amount of crude humor, moderate language, and perverted moments that would have to be censored (one example being the numerous bath scenes featuring the female character, Shizuka), the license was eventually dropped.” (from Wikipedia)

I can understand the “crude humor” part, because it was created in the late 70’s, but “perverted moments”?!?! Shizuka (the female character) was known to be always taking a bath, but it was never really “sexy” or “racy.” Nobita (the main character) and Doraemon would accidentally end up peeping her in the bathroom and Shizuka would scream and get mad. That was about it. It’s just the reader’s interpretation that is perverted or not. I’m born and raised in Japan, so I might have been desensitized
to certain situations in anime or manga, but sometimes I don’t understand the censorship in the U.S…

Another unrelated thing, while I was out shopping in the city the other day, I found this amazing flashlight and had to get it. My boyfriend and I had seen this at an airport before, but we didn’t get it at the time, and regretted that we didn’t. It was labeled “cat” on the box, but this is clearly Doraemon.

He’s blue, has no ears, and he’s got the bell! The only different thing is that his pocket is red instead of white, which made him look like he’s got his pocket was cut out and the red part is his insides. You can’t see it, but a lever will pop out on his side and you can squeeze it to generate power without batteries. This creepy Doraemon is definitely green.

Doraemon onigiri:
– rice with a little bit of salt
– seaweed
– kamaboko (fish cake)
– carrot
– fake sausage (for the smiling one)

For more pictures of my bento, visit Bento! set and Bento details! set on my flickr page.


1. china - March 4, 2009

how do you fill onigiri with things? i usually just mix something in but i like the idea of the outside being white.

AnnaTheRed - March 6, 2009

Hi china, sorry for a late reply…
When you make a rice ball, just make it like when you usually make it. Just poke the center of onigiri with your finger to make a hole. Then you put whatever you want to put in. To cover the hole put a little bit of rice on top of it and re-shape it!

2. Eat. Travel. Eat! - March 4, 2009

The onigiri looks so nice even if it isn’t perfect! Each onigiri really looks like a replica of Doraemon’s head. Agree about the sausage being too thick for the mouth, and I love the captions beneath the photos!

3. Meroro - March 4, 2009

Hi Anna,
I found your blog by accident when I followed a link on another site and… “where have you been?” ; ;

I’m completely addicted to your blog.

Hail doraemon!! :3


4. lisa - March 4, 2009

The only different thing is that his pocket is red instead of white, which made him look like he’s got his pocket was cut out and the red part is his insides.

LOL! I LOVE how you describe that. XD

OMG. I LOVE DORAEMON. Thanks for this tutorial. I’m definitely going to try making this one day. =D

5. julianne - March 5, 2009

Can you come over for dinner and make us one of these? Seriously!!!

6. lilyanette - March 6, 2009

I grew up watching Doraemon and I love these rice balls. Nice job! 🙂

7. April - March 6, 2009

OMG, where do you get your bento tools? Your’s are the best I’ve seen yet. I’d love to try making a real bento. Thanks.

8. cindy - March 6, 2009

so cute!!!! I love them!

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